Separation Between Church and State

The separation of church and state Grinch is alive and well in the Upper Midwest.


A Wisconsin high school choir will be able to continue with a Christmas tradition after all.  Earlier this month, the Wausau School District informed its music teachers that singing about Santa would be acceptable, but singing about Jesus was prohibited.


Music director Phil Buch said he was told by Superintendent Kathleen Williams to reduce the number of religiously related songs during the group’s holiday performances.  He responded, “My responsibility has been to always perform a balanced repertoire.”


The superintendent gave him three options: Either include five secular, non-religious songs for every faith-based carol, hold a concert without any Christmas music, or postpone all December concerts.  She claimed limiting the religious music would protect the district from future lawsuits.


The school’s choir was temporarily disbanded until school board members could decide the matter.  Parents were upset, and attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the school district.


The letter stated, “Schools should not have to think twice about whether they can allow students to sing Christmas carols because courts have unanimously upheld their inclusion.”


School board members voted unanimously to hold off on making any immediate decisions about the choir group. They decided instead to review the actions of the school superintendent.


Phil Buch, the choir director, says, “I think there’s an understanding that sacred music does have a definite place in our choral ranks.”


By the way, if you ever feel that your child’s religious freedom is being threatened at a public school, you can contact the ADF at


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